MONTANA WRONGFUL DEATH LAW
A tragic loss of someone close to you is devastating. It’s even more painful if the cause of death is due to a person’s negligence. According to Montana Code section 27-1-513, wrongful death is defined as an incident to which the person was seriously harmed, which resulted him or her to an eventual death.
In the same state law code, wrongful death claims are considered to be a civil case and are filed by individuals.
When a person is negligent, or commits a wrongful act which in turn causes the death of another human being, a wrongful death has occurred. Family members who have lost the companionship, financial support and emotional guidance of a loved one can file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death can bring significant devastation to the lives of those family members left behind.
A wrongful death lawsuit is often represented by a nearest kin or surviving family of the deceased person which aims to seek justice from the party liable for the deceased person’s demise. A person eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit can either be a spouse, a child, parent, sibling, or someone who designates him or herself as a legal representative with his or her name noted in a living will.
Is there a time limit for filing a Wrongful Death case in Montana?
Montana has a law that provides a set of time frame in filing wrongful death case. Also known as statute of limitations, wrongful death claims must be filed within three years from the time the person died. Although if the death was the result of a criminal homicide, that time period is extended to ten years. If wrongful death claims were not filed prior to 3 years time frame, the case will be typically thrown out of court without any legal proceedings.
What damages can be involved in wrongful death case in Montana?
The main goal of wrongful death case in Montana is to seek justice and provide compensation for the surviving family members from the loss and damages they suffered out of the deceased person’s untimely death. These damages can either be economic and non-economic which can be recovered in a single wrongful death case.
While no one immediately thinks of money after losing a loved one, they are often wholly dependent upon the deceased for financial support. Economic damages are remuneration damages to which a concrete amount can be established. These include receipts from hospitalization, medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, lost of wage and financial privileges of the deceased person that he or she likely would’ve acquired during his or her expected lifetime only if his or her untimely demise hadn’t occurred.
Non-Economic damages, on the other hand, are often difficult to quantify. These may include the loss of guidance and companionship faced by the survivors, emotional and psychological distress, and suffering that made a significant impact on the surviving family’s way of life after the death of their loved one.
How to Prove Wrongful Death in Montana?
When the death of your loved one is the result of reckless or negligent behavior, a wrongful death suit could be warranted. Negligence refers to whether a reasonable person or medical professional would have acted in the same manner under the same circumstances. There must be a duty of care owed. It must be shown that duty was breached. Their wrongful actions resulted in a death, and that there are damages stemming from that death. In other words, if a person is driving 60 mph in a 35 mph zone, speeds through the intersection on a red light and hits another person, killing that person. You could say that person had a duty to drive in a responsible manner, following traffic laws and signs. The person breached that duty, that breach caused a death, and the surviving family members have damages because of it.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in the State of Montana?
Under Montana’s wrongful death statute, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased is under the age of 18, either of the child’s parents can file the wrongful death claim. Both parents can file a wrongful death claim together as well. If the child has no living parents, his or her legal guardian can file the wrongful death claim. Those who bring the wrongful death claim are required to bring the claim to court with the help of an attorney. Unlike a criminal case, liability is expressed in terms of monetary damages.
What are the common causes of wrongful death?
Having negligence of another entity or person as the common denominator, the number one cause of wrongful deaths among those under the age of 35 is automobile accidents. Additional causes of wrongful deaths include:
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous drugs and medical devices
- Workplace accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Boating and swimming accidents
- Train accidents
- Asbestos exposure cancers
- Manufacturing defects
How Billings Wrongful Death Lawyer can help?
The single most important decision surviving family members can make during this difficult time is the decision to speak to an experienced Billings wrongful death lawyer. Your Billings wrongful death lawyer can handle the complex matters associated with a wrongful death claim. This allows family members the time to heal without worrying about finances. The burden of attempting to file a wrongful death claim on your own is usually more than grieving families can deal with. Your Billings wrongful death lawyer’s goal will be to ease your financial and emotional burdens, protecting your rights and your future.
If you have lost a loved one because of another person’s negligence – we can help. While we know that no amount of compensation could ever replace the loss of your loved one, you and your family should not have to endure unnecessary financial burdens at this time. Contact us now for a free consultation.